Genre : Jazz / Pop
About This Act :
Stansfield was born to Marion and Keith Stansfield in Heywood, Lancashire, in England, where she attended Redbrook School, Rochdale. Her first television appearance was on a talent programme in the Granada TV area in 1982. She won it singing The Human League track "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of". The series was produced by the then Head of Light Entertainment at Granada TV, Johnny Hamp.
After releasing several unsuccessful singles in her mid-teens, she co-hosted a children's TV pop show, Razzamatazz with Alistair Pirrie; additionally, Stansfield could be seen in 1983 children's television series The Krankies Klub, alongside comedian Jimmy Cricket and rock band Rocky Sharpe and the Replays. She also sang radio jingles for Manchester companies LBS and Alfasound – her voice being heard on packages for the short lived ILR station Sunset 102 and BBC GMR (Greater Manchester Radio).
After being signed by Arista, she became an international celebrity in the early 1990s.
Her R&B vocal features and texture are similar to that of her American contemporary and Arista label-mate, Taylor Dayne. Career
Her British band Blue Zone saw modest success with the single "Jackie". She then crossed over into the UK Top 40 singles chart as guest vocalist on Coldcut's record "People Hold On". She is probably best known internationally for her first UK number-one single, "All Around the World" (1989), which peaked at number three in the United States Billboard Hot 100 the following year. Other worldwide hits from her solo debut album Affection include "This Is the Right Time" (featuring a house music influence production by Coldcut with Mark Saunders), "Live Together", "What Did I Do to You" and "You Can't Deny It". "All Around the World" and "You Can't Deny It" both hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart. Affection went platinum in the United States and triple platinum in the UK selling over five million copies worldwide.
In 1990, Stansfield was among the high profile artists who participated in the Red Hot + Blue charity disc produced by the Red Hot Organization, which honoured Cole Porter's songwriting and benefitted AIDS research. She demonstrated her swing and jazz abilities on the song "Down in the Depths", which was one of few traditional renditions to appear on the album. Thus began an illustrious and respected tradition of Stansfield offering jazz and torch songs to outside projects (most recently she sang "I've Got the World on a String" for the Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack). This is likely what got her noticed for consideration as the female lead in the independent film Swing (1999), in which she also sang the majority of the film's songs.
In 1991 and 1992, Stansfield won the BRIT Award for best British female solo artist. Her second album Real Love spawned four Top 40 singles on the European charts: "Change", "All Woman", "Time to Make You Mine" and "Set Your Loving Free". "All Woman" became Stansfield's third number one single on the Billboard R&B chart and the album has since gone platinum in the US and went double platinum in her homeland.
She performed Queen songs alongside George Michael and joined the remaining members of Queen at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert on 20 April 1992. The performance was later released by Queen. The concert was recognised by the music community as an important event in the work around the AIDS issue.
Also in 1992, Stansfield appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Red Hot + Dance, contributing an exclusive remix of her hit single "Change," "Change (Metamorphisis Mix)." The album donated all proceeds to AIDS charities and worked to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic. She also contributed to the soundtrack of the major motion picture The Bodyguard. "Someday (I'm Coming Back)" reached Number 10 in the UK.
She continued recording disco-influenced soul throughout the 1990s. Her third album So Natural (1993) spawned three Top 40 European singles including the title track (UK number 15), "In All the Right Places" (UK number 8), and "Little Bit of Heaven" (UK number 32).
Her self-titled fourth album Lisa Stansfield (1997) was a hit in Europe with three Top Ten singles: "People Hold On" (re-released as a dance mix by the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) UK number 4 (7 places higher than the original release), "The Real Thing" UK number 9 and "Never Never Gonna Give You Up" (a remake of Barry White's 1973 hit) UK number 25; upon being released in North America, the album received some mainstream attention. Its peak charting positions were number 30 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 55 on the Billboard 200. Also in the U.S., "Never Never Gonna Give You Up" also became Stansfield's last Top 40 R&B hit, and the remix by Frankie Knuckles hit number 1 in October on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. It is her final Hot 100 hit to date. Subsequently, the remix album was released due to Stansfield's reinterest from the dance community. The music video for the song featured a nude Stansfield strolling a city street, acquiring a few items of clothing along the way. VH1 featured the clip and even gave it the Pop-Up Video treatment.
Her 2001 album Face Up charted but with less publicity and featured the singles "Let's Just Call It Love" UK number 46 and "8-3-1". It found her experimenting with newer styles of urban music such as UK garage while continuing with her established sound. Stansfield's husband, Ian Devaney, delivered an arrangement for the ballad "How Could You", which displayed his love of Burt Bacharach.
Following the release of Face Up, a greatest hits collection called Biography was released. A television campaign and a tour propelled the album to Number 3 in the UK and it has since gone platinum. Stansfield's six album deal with Arista/BMG records had now been obliged, ending an eighteen year association with the label. She then signed with ZTT Records for the United Kingdom, and her first album for them was the 2004 release The Moment produced by Trevor Horn, who has worked with Seal, Grace Jones and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, among others. The album was distributed in Europe by Edel. Featuring the singles "Treat Me Like a Woman" (released as a "double A side" with "Easier") and "If I Hadn't Got You" a song written by Chris Braide with ex-Squeeze songwriter Chris Difford. The album found her exploring more pop oriented sounds rather than just focusing on ballads.
On June 2012, Lisa told the UK newspaper, The Sunday Mirror that she's working on her seventh studio album, her first in nine years, and that it is going to be released in spring 2013. Lisa announced in November 2012 that the album will be titled 'Seven'.
Lisa has sold an estimated 200 million records worldwide.
Stansfield also has a career in acting; she starred in the 1999 film Swing with actor Hugo Speer, and recorded cover versions of swing songs and a few original songs written in the style for the soundtrack. She later appeared on a London stage in The Vagina Monologues. In 2006, she guest-starred in the series Goldplated. In 2007, she starred in a Marple episode ("Ordeal by Innocence") and later joined the cast of The Edge of Love.
In 1998 Stansfield was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party (UK).